Special Issue "Extended Reality: From Theory to Applications"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Computing and Artificial Intelligence".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Fotis Liarokapis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Limassol District 3036, Cyprus
Interests: virtual reality; augmented reality; human–machine interaction; brain–computer interfaces; serious games; procedural modeling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Panagiotis Petridis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Senior Lecturer in Gamification at Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK
Interests: Games science; mixed reality; 3D interfaces ubiquitous computing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Katerina Mania
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece
Interests: mixed reality/VR/AR; perceptual rendering; haptics; visualization; gaze-based interfaces; multimodal interfaces

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Extended reality (XR) is a relative new term that covers virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). There are numerous research as well as business applications of XR, and the field is growing exponentially. Projections suggest that in the next decade, XR will be mainstream, and it is one of the most promising technologies that will dominate our lives.

The goal of the SPECIAL ISSUE is to collect original and high-quality research articles as well as review papers focused on the theoretical and practical aspects related to extended reality. Exceptional contributions that extend previously published work will also be considered, provided they contribute at least 40% new results. Authors of such submissions will be required to provide a clear indication of the new contributions and explain how this work extends the original contributions. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Computer graphics and visualization;
  • Tracking algorithms and hardware solutions;
  • Haptics communication and technologies;
  • Artificial intelligence and deep learning;
  • Crowd simulation and intelligent agents;
  • Interactive technologies and smart interfaces;
  • Pervasive and ubiquitous computing;
  • Perception and user studies;
  • Human–computer interaction;
  • Physiological computer interfaces;
  • Serious games, gamification and game-based learning;
  • Novel applications of virtual, augmented and mixed reality;
  • Multimodal interfaces;
  • Gaze-contingent displays.

Prof. Dr. Fotis Liarokapis
Prof. Dr. Panagiotis Petridis
Prof. Dr. Katerina Mania
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Virtual reality
  • Augmented reality
  • Mixed reality

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Article
Effect of Collaboration Mode and Position Arrangement on Immersive Analytics Tasks in Virtual Reality: A Pilot Study
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(21), 10473; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112110473 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 361
Abstract
[Background] Virtual reality (VR) technology can provide unique immersive experiences for group users, and especially for analytics tasks with visual information in learning. Providing a shared control/view may improve the task performance and enhance the user experience during VR collaboration. [Objectives] Therefore, this [...] Read more.
[Background] Virtual reality (VR) technology can provide unique immersive experiences for group users, and especially for analytics tasks with visual information in learning. Providing a shared control/view may improve the task performance and enhance the user experience during VR collaboration. [Objectives] Therefore, this research explores the effect of collaborative modes and user position arrangements on task performance, user engagement, and collaboration behaviors and patterns in a VR learning environment that supports immersive collaborative tasks. [Method] The study involved two collaborative modes (shared and non-shared view and control) and three position arrangements (side-by-side, corner-to-corner, and back-to-back). A user study was conducted with 30 participants divided into three groups (Single, Shared, and Non-Shared) using a VR application that allowed users to explore the structural and transformational properties of 3D geometric shapes. [Results] The results showed that the shared mode would lead to higher task performance than single users for learning analytics tasks in VR. Besides, the side-by-side position got a higher score and more favor for enhancing the collaborative experience. [Conclusion] The shared view would be more suitable for improving task performance in collaborative VR. In addition, the side-by-side position may provide a higher user experience when collaborating in learning VR. From these results, a set of guidelines for the design of collaborative visualizations for VR environments are distilled and presented at the end of the paper. All in all, although our experiment is based on a colocated setting with two users, the results are applicable to both colocated and distributed collaborative scenarios with two or more users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended Reality: From Theory to Applications)
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Article
Attentional Skills in Soccer: Evaluating the Involvement of Attention in Executing a Goalkeeping Task in Virtual Reality
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(19), 9341; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11199341 - 08 Oct 2021
Viewed by 410
Abstract
Physical abilities are essential to goalkeepers in soccer but the involved cognitive abilities for these players have only recently become the focus of extensive research. In this study, we investigated the role of different aspects of attention in a basic goalkeeping task in [...] Read more.
Physical abilities are essential to goalkeepers in soccer but the involved cognitive abilities for these players have only recently become the focus of extensive research. In this study, we investigated the role of different aspects of attention in a basic goalkeeping task in soccer. One hundred participants assumed the role of a goalkeeper in immersive virtual reality (VR) and carried out a task that entailed blocking balls shot towards their goal. In addition, they carried out two computerized tasks each assessing different attentional abilities: the Attention Network Test provided scores for three well-established networks of attention, namely the alerting, the orienting, and the executive control. The Whack-a-Mole task evaluated inhibitory control, by measuring performance in a classic Go/No-Go task and tapping on response inhibition. A regression analysis revealed that all three attention network scores contributed to performance in the VR goalkeeping task. Furthermore, performance in the Whack-a-Mole task correlated significantly with performance in the VR goalkeeping task. Overall, findings confirm that cognitive skills relating to attention play a critical role in the efficient execution of soccer-specific tasks. These findings have important implications for the training of cognitive skills in sports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended Reality: From Theory to Applications)
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Article
Interactions in Augmented and Mixed Reality: An Overview
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(18), 8752; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11188752 - 20 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 699
Abstract
“Interaction” represents a critical term in the augmented and mixed reality ecosystem. Today, in mixed reality environments and applications, interaction occupies the joint space between any combination of humans, physical environment, and computers. Although interaction methods and techniques have been extensively examined in [...] Read more.
“Interaction” represents a critical term in the augmented and mixed reality ecosystem. Today, in mixed reality environments and applications, interaction occupies the joint space between any combination of humans, physical environment, and computers. Although interaction methods and techniques have been extensively examined in recent decades in the field of human-computer interaction, they still should be reidentified in the context of immersive realities. The latest technological advancements in sensors, processing power and technologies, including the internet of things and the 5G GSM network, led to innovative and advanced input methods and enforced computer environmental perception. For example, ubiquitous sensors under a high-speed GSM network may enhance mobile users’ interactions with physical or virtual objects. As technological advancements emerge, researchers create umbrella terms to define their work, such as multimodal, tangible, and collaborative interactions. However, although they serve their purpose, various naming trends overlap in terminology, diverge in definitions, and lack modality and conceptual framework classifications. This paper presents a modality-based interaction-oriented diagram for researchers to position their work and defines taxonomy ground rules to expand and adjust this diagram when novel interaction approaches emerge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended Reality: From Theory to Applications)
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Article
Mobile Augmented Reality for Low-End Devices Based on Planar Surface Recognition and Optimized Vertex Data Rendering
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(18), 8750; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11188750 - 20 Sep 2021
Viewed by 366
Abstract
Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR) is designed to keep pace with high-end mobile computing and their powerful sensors. This evolution excludes users with low-end devices and network constraints. This article presents ModAR, a hybrid Android prototype that expands the MAR experience to the aforementioned [...] Read more.
Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR) is designed to keep pace with high-end mobile computing and their powerful sensors. This evolution excludes users with low-end devices and network constraints. This article presents ModAR, a hybrid Android prototype that expands the MAR experience to the aforementioned target group. It combines feature-based image matching and pose estimation with fast rendering of 3D textured models. Planar objects of the real environment are used as pattern images for overlaying users’ meshes or the app’s default ones. Since ModAR is based on the OpenCV C++ library at Android NDK and OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics API, there are no dependencies on additional software, operating system version or model-specific hardware. The developed 3D graphics engine implements optimized vertex-data rendering with a combination of data grouping, synchronization, sub-texture compression and instancing for limited CPU/GPU resources and a single-threaded approach. It achieves up to 3× speed-up compared to standard index rendering, and AR overlay of a 50 K vertices 3D model in less than 30 s. Several deployment scenarios on pose estimation demonstrate that the oriented FAST detector with an upper threshold of features per frame combined with the ORB descriptor yield best results in terms of robustness and efficiency, achieving a 90% reduction of image matching time compared to the time required by the AGAST detector and the BRISK descriptor, corresponding to pattern recognition accuracy of above 90% for a wide range of scale changes, regardless of any in-plane rotations and partial occlusions of the pattern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended Reality: From Theory to Applications)
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Article
FlowHaptics: Mid-Air Haptic Representation of Liquid Flow
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(18), 8447; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11188447 - 11 Sep 2021
Viewed by 511
Abstract
Water is an essential substance for humans in their daily lives. There are many opportunities for us to come in contact with water, such as cooking, bathing, and swimming. However, few studies have reproduced the sensation of water touching the skin. This study [...] Read more.
Water is an essential substance for humans in their daily lives. There are many opportunities for us to come in contact with water, such as cooking, bathing, and swimming. However, few studies have reproduced the sensation of water touching the skin. This study aims to propose a novel midair haptic device, named FlowHaptics, that reproduces the feeling of the force of flowing water over human fingers using multiple air jets. We first estimated the temporal pressure distribution change of water in two-dimensional space using machine-learning-accelerated fluid simulation. We controlled the airflow based on the pressure distribution change obtained from the fluid simulation to reproduce the feeling of flowing water over the fingers using our proposed device, which can control multiple air jets in real time. We performed a psycho-physical evaluation of different flow velocities and a subjective evaluation of different velocity profiles. We found that FlowHaptics reliably created the illusion of the pressure distribution of flowing water on the fingers where the flow velocity could be distinguished within the range of 8.42% to 13.05%, and our estimated flow velocity profile with the configuration of three air jets felt more similar to flowing water when compared to a constant velocity profile according to the users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended Reality: From Theory to Applications)
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Article
A Needs-Based Augmented Reality System
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(17), 7978; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11177978 - 28 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 538
Abstract
Augmented Reality aims to enhance the real world with computer-generated information. AR technology is both attractive and promising. Current AR experiences depend on external elements to launch, such as markers, images, and location. For an AR experience to be more personalized, this research [...] Read more.
Augmented Reality aims to enhance the real world with computer-generated information. AR technology is both attractive and promising. Current AR experiences depend on external elements to launch, such as markers, images, and location. For an AR experience to be more personalized, this research proposes a scheme to trigger AR experiences based on human needs. This approach should enable human needs to be captured, and analyze them to select the most suited experiences that fulfill or aids in fulfilling needs. The contribution of this paper includes (1) a study of current AR technologies and triggers, (2) an analysis of human needs into measurable elements, and (3) a description of a needs-based AR application process with a demonstration of the process guidelines. The research presents a proof of concept prototype of a restaurant that satisfies the subsistence need for hunger. The results show the effectiveness of the guidelines in detecting human needs and recommending AR experiences; however, producing correct predictions and recommendations requires a well-established dataset. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended Reality: From Theory to Applications)
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Article
A Subjective and Behavioral Assessment of Affordances in Virtual Architectural Walkthroughs
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(17), 7846; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11177846 - 26 Aug 2021
Viewed by 458
Abstract
Immersive technologies, such as VR, offer first-person experiences using depth perception and spatial awareness that elucidate a sense of space impossible with traditional visualization techniques. This paper looks beyond the visual aspects and towards understanding the experiential aspects of two popular uses of [...] Read more.
Immersive technologies, such as VR, offer first-person experiences using depth perception and spatial awareness that elucidate a sense of space impossible with traditional visualization techniques. This paper looks beyond the visual aspects and towards understanding the experiential aspects of two popular uses of VR in 3D architectural visualization: a “passive walkthrough” and an “interactive walkthrough”. We designed a within-subject experiment to measure the user-perceived quality for both experiences. All participants (N = 34) were exposed to both scenarios and afterwards responded to a post-experience questionnaire; meanwhile, their physical activity and simple active behaviors were also recorded. Results indicate that while the fully immersive-interactive experience rendered a heightened sense of presence in users, overt behaviors (movement and gesture) did not change for users. We discuss the potential use of subjective assessments and user behavior analysis to understand user-perceived experiential quality inside virtual environments, which should be useful in building taxonomies and designing affordances that best fit these environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended Reality: From Theory to Applications)
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Article
Wayfinding in Virtual Reality Serious Game: An Exploratory Study in the Context of User Perceived Experiences
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(17), 7822; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11177822 - 25 Aug 2021
Viewed by 535
Abstract
Extended reality (XR) technologies such as virtual reality (VR) provide a promising alternative for training users through serious games (SGs). VR SGs allow people to train in emergency scenarios and improve their likelihood of survival in high-risk situations. Studies have shown that incorporating [...] Read more.
Extended reality (XR) technologies such as virtual reality (VR) provide a promising alternative for training users through serious games (SGs). VR SGs allow people to train in emergency scenarios and improve their likelihood of survival in high-risk situations. Studies have shown that incorporating design elements such as wayfinding cues enhances the spatial knowledge of users in VR. However, the impact of these wayfinding cues on users’ psychological and psychometric behaviors needs thorough investigation. An SG was designed to investigate wayfinding cues’ psychological and psychometric effects on user-perceived experiences in an immersive VR environment. Thirty-nine participants experienced three variants of the VR SG using Oculus Rift- S. Participants in the control condition were exposed to the VR with no wayfinding cues, and the experimental groups were exposed to VR with static and dynamic wayfinding cues. Results showed that VR SG with wayfinding cues induced less tension, challenge, and negative affects in users’ overall perceived experience. Similarly higher positive affects were observed for the experimental groups with wayfinding cues. It was interesting to observe that there were no significant effects of wayfinding on competence, flow, and immersion; however, heart rate was significantly high in the control group. These findings suggest that wayfinding cues can promote the users perceived quality of experience in the VR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended Reality: From Theory to Applications)
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Article
Color Harmonization, Deharmonization and Balancing in Augmented Reality
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 3915; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11093915 - 26 Apr 2021
Viewed by 723
Abstract
Color schemes play a crucial role in blending virtual objects with the real environment. Good color schemes improve user’s perception, which is of crucial importance for augmented reality. In this paper, we propose a set of novel methods based on the color harmonization [...] Read more.
Color schemes play a crucial role in blending virtual objects with the real environment. Good color schemes improve user’s perception, which is of crucial importance for augmented reality. In this paper, we propose a set of novel methods based on the color harmonization methodology to recolor augmented reality content according to the real background. Three different strategies are proposed—harmonic, disharmonic, and balance—that allow for satisfying different needs in different settings depending on the application field. The first approach aims to harmonize the colors of virtual objects to make them consistent with the colors of the real background and reach a more pleasing effect to a human eye. The second approach, instead, can be adopted to generate a set of disharmonious colors with respect to real ones to be associated with the augmented virtual content to improve its distinctiveness from the real background. The third approach balances these goals by achieving a compromise between harmony and good visibility among virtual and real objects. Furthermore, the proposed re-coloring method is applied to three different case studies by adopting the three strategies to meet three different objectives, which are specific for each case study. Several parameters are calculated for each test, such as the covered area, the color distribution, and the set of generated colors. Results confirm the great potential of the proposed approaches to improve the AR visualization in different scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended Reality: From Theory to Applications)
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Article
Time Travel to the Past of Bosnia and Herzegovina through Virtual and Augmented Reality
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 3711; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11083711 - 20 Apr 2021
Viewed by 803
Abstract
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) has a very picturesque past. Founded in 11th century, it has always been a crossroads of faiths and civilizations. Extended Reality (XR) technologies can finally take us to time travel into this history, enable us to experience past events [...] Read more.
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) has a very picturesque past. Founded in 11th century, it has always been a crossroads of faiths and civilizations. Extended Reality (XR) technologies can finally take us to time travel into this history, enable us to experience past events and meet historical characters. In this paper, we overview the latest applications we developed that use Virtual Reality (VR) video, Virtual and Augmented Reality (AR) for interactive digital storytelling about BH history. “Nine dissidents” is the first BH VR documentary, tackling a still tricky subject of dissidents in the Socialist Yugoslavia, artists and writers falsely accused, persecuted and still forbidden. “Virtual Museum of Old Crafts” aims to present and preserve crafts intangible heritage through Virtual Reality. “Battle on Neretva VR” is recreating a famous WWII battle offering the users to experience it and meet comrade Tito, the commander of the Yugoslav Liberation Army. “Sarajevo 5D” shows the cultural monuments from Sarajevo that do not exist anymore in physical form using Augmented Reality. Through user experience studies, we measure the user immersion and edutainment of these applications and show the potential of XR for the presentation and preservation of cultural heritage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended Reality: From Theory to Applications)
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Article
Mixed Reality: A Reconsideration Based on Mixed Objects and Geospatial Modalities
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 2417; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11052417 - 09 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 870
Abstract
We put forward a conceptualization of Mixed Reality as a blend of digital objects with real ones that coexist and interact with each other and they are also spatially referenced so that they are properly perceived in space by an observer that could [...] Read more.
We put forward a conceptualization of Mixed Reality as a blend of digital objects with real ones that coexist and interact with each other and they are also spatially referenced so that they are properly perceived in space by an observer that could potentially be at any position any time. In accordance with this statement, we have adopted the concept of a Mixed Object which is composed of a set of physical properties linked with a set of digital ones. In our case, the physical properties are acquired by employing geospatial technologies such as photogrammetry, laser scanning, unmanned aerial vehicles and positioning systems and are further processed in order to be visually displayed by utilizing Geographical Information Systems and Geovisualization frameworks in combination with traditional image processing techniques. We show that the Mixed Object approach is in conformance with Microsoft’s approach on Mixed Reality as the common space between humans, computers, and the environment and we further incorporate in these the Geospatial Linking Modalities. We finally provide an affordable MR experience as a proof of concept, by utilizing a smartphone for capturing and visualizing the environment, a visual tag for positioning purposes and freely available photogrammetrically mapped content and virtual objects to form a digital scene blended with the real environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended Reality: From Theory to Applications)
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Article
X-Reality Museums: Unifying the Virtual and Real World Towards Realistic Virtual Museums
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11010338 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1476
Abstract
Culture is a field that is currently entering a revolutionary phase, no longer being a privilege for the few, but expanding to new audiences who are urged to not only passively consume cultural heritage content, but actually participate and assimilate it on their [...] Read more.
Culture is a field that is currently entering a revolutionary phase, no longer being a privilege for the few, but expanding to new audiences who are urged to not only passively consume cultural heritage content, but actually participate and assimilate it on their own. In this context, museums have already embraced new technologies as part of their exhibitions, many of them featuring augmented or virtual reality artifacts. The presented work proposes the synthesis of augmented, virtual and mixed reality technologies to provide unified X-Reality experiences in realistic virtual museums, engaging visitors in an interactive and seamless fusion of physical and virtual worlds that will feature virtual agents exhibiting naturalistic behavior. Visitors will be able to interact with the virtual agents, as they would with real world counterparts. The envisioned approach is expected to not only provide refined experiences for museum visitors, but also achieve high quality entertainment combined with more effective knowledge acquisition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended Reality: From Theory to Applications)
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Article
A Gamified Augmented Reality Application for Digital Heritage and Tourism
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(21), 7868; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10217868 - 06 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1285
Abstract
Although Augmented Reality (AR) technology has entered many market and knowledge domains such as games and leisure activities, it remains rather limited in digital heritage. After studying the potentiality of using modern AR elements in a museum context, this paper proposes the use [...] Read more.
Although Augmented Reality (AR) technology has entered many market and knowledge domains such as games and leisure activities, it remains rather limited in digital heritage. After studying the potentiality of using modern AR elements in a museum context, this paper proposes the use of additional game and educational elements in the core AR application in order to enhance the overall on-the-spot museum visitor’s experience. An agile AR application design methodology was followed by taking into account the needs of small-to-medium sized real-world museums. Moreover, a heuristic evaluation protocol was applied by a group of experts in order to test the proof-of-concept AR application, in which some novel elements were proposed such as the AR quiz game. The main findings indicate that enhanced AR experiences in museum settings can make a nice fit with the user environment, physical and perceptual abilities, known metaphors, and user position and motion in 3D space. Moreover, AR services can be provided under a minimum distraction and physical effort. As a conclusion, AR technologies are mature enough to be standardized for museum usage, while the audience seems to be ready to take advantage of the related enhanced museum experiences to maximize both user satisfaction and learning outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended Reality: From Theory to Applications)
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Article
AR Book-Finding Behavior of Users in Library Venue
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(20), 7349; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10207349 - 20 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 905
Abstract
ARKit and ARCore, key technologies in recent augmented reality (AR) development, have allowed AR to become more integrated in our lives. However, how effective AR is in an auxiliary role in venue guidance and how to collect the actual behaviors of users in [...] Read more.
ARKit and ARCore, key technologies in recent augmented reality (AR) development, have allowed AR to become more integrated in our lives. However, how effective AR is in an auxiliary role in venue guidance and how to collect the actual behaviors of users in physical venues are worth exploring. This study used navAR, a spatial behavior analysis system app that our research team developed, to collect the actual behaviors of participants in physical space via a smartphone, such as time, distance travelled, and trajectory, and compared their book-finding behaviors in a library venue in a text scenario and an AR scenario without any additional sensors or cameras. The experiment results revealed that (1) AR targets made a significant difference in book search time, and the participants found some of the books significantly faster; (2) the participants presented no significant differences in distance travelled; (3) with an AR target, the book-finding trajectories of the participants were significantly more regular; (4) the AR guidance system had good usability. The results of this study can facilitate planning with AR in indoor venue routes, improve venue and exhibition tour experiences, and enable AR to be used for crowd flow diversion. Furthermore, this study provides a methodology for future analyses on user behavior in physical spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended Reality: From Theory to Applications)
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Review

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Review
Deep and Meaningful E-Learning with Social Virtual Reality Environments in Higher Education: A Systematic Literature Review
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 2412; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11052412 - 09 Mar 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1163
Abstract
Deep and meaningful learning (DML) in distant education should be an essential outcome of quality education. In this literature review, we focus on e-learning effectiveness along with the factors and conditions leading to DML when using social virtual reality environments (SVREs) in distance [...] Read more.
Deep and meaningful learning (DML) in distant education should be an essential outcome of quality education. In this literature review, we focus on e-learning effectiveness along with the factors and conditions leading to DML when using social virtual reality environments (SVREs) in distance mode higher education (HE). Hence, a systematic literature review was conducted summarizing the findings from thirty-three empirical studies in HE between 2004 (appearance of VR) and 2019 (before coronavirus appearance). We searched for the cognitive, social, and affective aspects of DML in a research framework and studied their weight in SVREs. The findings suggest that the use of SVREs can provide authentic, simulated, cognitively challenging experiences in engaging, motivating environments for open-ended social and collaborative interactions and intentional, personalized learning. Furthermore, the findings indicate that educators and SVRE designers need to place more emphasis on the socio-cultural semiotics and emotional aspects of e-learning and ethical issues such as privacy and security. The mediating factors for DML in SVREs were accumulated and classified in the resultant Blended Model for Deep and Meaningful e-learning in SVREs. Improvement recommendations include meaningful contexts, purposeful activation, learner agency, intrinsic emotional engagement, holistic social integration, and meticulous user obstacle removal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended Reality: From Theory to Applications)
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